New law makes procurement officers more accountable

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Praz) has put in place new provisions for procurement officers to make them more answerable and transparent in carrying out their duties.

The new rules, which include a code of conduct, were introduced in Praz Circular Number 6, dated May 3, 2019, which will now require procurement officers to submit a signed undertaking to commit to given ethics.

The undertaking is in accordance with Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDPA) Act and comes as government ramps up efforts to stamp out corruption.

“Section 70(3) of the PPDPA Act provides that ‘before a procurement officer enters upon his or her office as such, he or she, in writing, undertakes to (a) faithfully exercise the functions assigned to him or her as a procurement officer and (b) abide by the rules of conduct provided for by or under this Act, including the code of conduct referred to in Section 71’,” the circular read.

“The accounting officer is, therefore, directed in terms of section 7(b) of the PPDPA Act to submit signed ‘undertakings’ by staff employed in the procurement management units established in terms of section 17 of the Act; staff that form ad hoc ‘evaluation committees’ established in terms of section 18 of the Act; staff involved in the implementation of procurement contracts from operations and finance.”

Praz has given until end of this month for procurement officers to sign the new rules listed in the undertaking.

“Please, ensure that the signed ‘undertakings’ are received by May 31, 2019,” the circular read.

Part of the major actions that procurement officers will now be required to commit to abiding by the code of conduct in section 71 of the PPDPA Act and accepting the
consequences of breach of duty.

“The code of conduct shall provide for all matters relating to the conduct of the officers and employees concerned, in so far as they are engaged in procurement,” part of section 71 of the PPDPA Act read.

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